Map of the Month

These custom-crafted maps are developed by ABAG and MTC’s mapmakers who turn data into art to tell compelling stories about important trends in the Bay Area, across the nation and around the world.

map of most congested areas in the US
February, 2017

Most Congested Urban Areas In The U.S.

This month's map highlights a recent study released by Inrix Inc. that examines traffic congestion in over 1,000 cities - 240 in the U.S. - across 38 countries. The study reveals that the U.S. is ranked as the most congested developed country in the world, with drivers spending an average of 42 hours a year in traffic during peak hours. According to this study, the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all U.S. drivers amounts to nearly $300 billion in 2016, an average of $1,400 per driver. U.S. cities dominated the top 10 most congested cities globally, with Los Angeles (first), New York (third), San Francisco (fourth), Atlanta (eighth) and Miami (10th) each dealing with an economic drain on the city upwards of $2.5 billion caused by traffic congestion. Los Angeles commuters spent an average of 104 hours last year in traffic jams during peak congestion hours more than any other city in the world. This contributed to congestion costing drivers in Los Angeles $2,408 each and the city as a whole $9.6 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs refer to freight and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to households through higher prices.